A Re-Entry Success Story
In May of 2017, I was paroled from a New York State prison. I had spent the past 25 years behind bars for a crime I did not commit. The world is significantly different since the fall of 1995 (the year I was arrested at the age of 17). I had to figure out how to re-enter society in a healthy way. Both the ATTAIN Lab staff and program became integral parts in this re-entry. My name is Mr. Carlos Sanchez and this is my ATTAIN Lab success story.
Soon after I came home, my mom encouraged me go into the LIEOC office in Brentwood to ask if they provided any services that could help with my re-entry. There, I met Anna and Jasmine in the ATTAIN Lab and they helped set me up to earn Microsoft Suite Specialist Certificates. These certificates supplemented the bachelor’s degree I earned in prison, facilitating an easier integration into the work force of my choice.
In the last few years, I’ve worked as a math tutor, a Business Associate for a major non-profit, and eventually, as an Instructor for Microsoft Suite Certificates for Non-Native English speakers in the ATTAIN Lab in Brentwood. I am currently working for a start up company that is trying to innovate cancer research. Along the way, I have used the knowledge I gained in the ATTAIN Lab as one tool of
many to pave my way to success.
Meet Alumna Cheryl Williams - Author/Registered Nurse
A Dream Come True
At the age of eleven, my mother suffered a massive stroke. As I cared for her, my passion of becoming a nurse blossomed.
I migrated to the USA and brought my dream across the ocean with me.
Due to so many setbacks, struggles, lack of money and opportunity, my dream was delayed. But I never gave up hope.
One day the mailman accidentally dropped an LIEOC flyer while delivering the mail. That was my miracle, my opportunity.
Getting through the program was not an easy feat. I couldn’t afford a babysitter so I had to pack up my sons who were three and five at the time, taking them out in the cold, to get the train, that took me half way to school. After work my husband picked us up at the station and took me the other half.
Despite the hardships and sacrifices, I was determined to make it through. The tougher the challenges, the harder I worked.
I graduated top of my class and was hired as a CNA within a couple months.
I then enrolled in the College Prep program, after which I completed my nursing prerequisites.
After working for a couple years as a CNA I was given a scholarship that allowed me to enter the RN nursing program.
Today I am living my dreams, making a difference in the lives of so many, and having the means financially to afford the things I love.
Recently I published a book A Collection Of Poems: A journey through Life, focusing on some of the struggles we face on life’s journey, and positive ways to helps us cope. Encouraging us to never let go of hope.
If it wasn’t for The Long Island Educational Opportunity Center. I wouldn’t be where I am today. This program changed my life, giving me an opportunity to realize my dreams, and the means to live my life to the fullest.
A Collection Of Poems: A journey through Life
Meet Althea H.- LPN
Althea H., another graduate from the initial cohort LPN program, entered the LIEOC program with her CNA already earned. During the program, she was pregnant and discouraged. The support she had from her instructor and fellow classmates was extraordinary. Because of the LIEOC “family” she was able to complete her program. Today, her son is 10 years old, and she credits the LIEOC with giving her more than an education, it gave her the determination to succeed despite life’s “Stumbling blocks” and envision a future of promise. She went on to earn an RN and plans to go even further with a Master’s degree.
Meet William B. - LIEOC Alum - Physical Therapy Aide
A 2012 graduate of the Physical Therapy Aide, had a very tough life. He moved several times in his senior year alone, and had many family pressures to deal with. He felt shool was pretty easy, but had no direction or motivation for his future. He was very excited to complete the Physical Therapy program, and the experience led to a position in a gym environment. He credits the program with giving him direction and structure when he needed it most. Today, William is a Project Manager, a husband and father, and he is determined to succeed in life. He is enrolled at Nassau Community College and plans to pursue further education. ” The LIEOC gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself and that I was worth a better future if I tried hard enough. There is no limit to what I can achieve in my life.”
Meet Saira K.-Pharmacy Technician
Saira K., a 2009 graduate of the Pharmacy Technician program at our Farmingdale location, credits her LIEOC experience as a catalyst that has brought her through extensive further education, including earning a doctorate in Pharmacy in 2014.
“This course sparked my interest in Pharmacy and helped me think bigger in terms of my dreams. I truly believe programs like the LIEOC are needed in our community.”
Check out LIEOC Alum, Dr. Saira Kahn in NEWSDAY: Business Section March 5th. Dr. Kahn is a pharmacist at Lee’s Drugs in Floral Park and Sun Ray Pharmacy in Bay Shore.